Tartuffe at Dumbarton House Wednesday, June 19

Fresh off its recent sold-out event at the Phillips Collection, the Picnic Theatre Company brings its quick hit of classic theater back to the garden. The company of volunteer players presents an abbreviated performance of Molière’s comedy Tartuffe, and they’ll stage it in a very picnic-appropriate setting: Dumbarton House’s garden. The play, about a cunning man who pretends to be the very image of piety, gets an extra boost when performed in America’s political capital. Even as a couple of people are taken in by Tartuffe’s rouse, his detractors are outraged by the hypocrite and work extremely hard to unseat him from his place of relative power. Molière’s genius isn’t in the plotting—after all, satire’s blade is generally aimed at the heart of the political world—but the French playwright does know how to deliver his story with generous helpings of wit cut with perfect dramatic irony.

The performance runs June 19 to 21 at Dumbarton House, 2715 Q St. NW. $12–$15. (202) 337-2288. dumbartonhouse.org.

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